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Douglas Coupland:’ I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on a plane’

California’s most well known butterfly nearing demise coiling – San Francisco Chronicle

No more clock-based passivity from the novelist, who disrupted a 20 -year routine with a decision to embrace the unpredictable

I used to be a penalty morning scribe, but in the spring of 2010 I was visiting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg blue jumpsuits improving the gear necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau prompted in me a gentle realisation that countries around the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake circumstances up creatively to keep pace with it.

I requested myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction with that same fractal sense of falling down a rabbit hole that we all suffer when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze emotion into as few words as is practicable not only on a sheet but something people can read from a automobile at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I intentionally upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing number. No more AM clock-based passivity, calmly awaiting messages that may or may not come depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there feeling nostalgic for my pre-internet psyche, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if you ask me what is my usual writing date, I have no specific answer, simply a series of tendencies which together define my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on aircrafts. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on a plane, and Im writing these messages on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not nasty hotshot of soon-to-end Schengen-era statelessness the kind of transnational fluidity so accurately touted by Monocle magazine a headspace where all the men wear slim-fit clothe and all the women in little pitch-black dresses “re going back to the” part from the Embassy function to do some late darknes C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of water with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God developed ice cubes .

Two: I do much of my writing in hotel rooms, specially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive property and am now in the St Petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selections perhaps realized( in the best possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is now in a hotel room most columnists know this implicitly that frees up ones supposing. First you situate a scorched earth do-not-disturb on your email accounting( autoreply: Im dead and hence unable to reply to your email) and second, hide the mobile phone in the desk drawer and its almost as good as being on a plane. Nobody can reach you. Youre safe.

Three: I write in places connected in definable ways to the forces of both globalisation and deglobalisation: Shanghai router-making facilities; Chilean classrooms taken over by demonstrating students, the areas now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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